Claudia Edward and Band a hit at Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival
The lawn is littered with seated, dancing, walking people, acrobatic children in a girl dance band rivaling Diversity . . . playing bat and ball in the gentle breeze in July summer sun.
Captivating Claudia Edward and her prize catch of gem-studded licks, flicks, plucks and flying sticks tightly pulled together in a band of jumping, jiving, jamming, soul diving music and vocals are revving up the audience as if it were in the London Arena, Albert Hall.
She is a rising star straight out of St Lucia. Her original songs sound like hits straight out of the oven. In her rendition of BB King’s ‘The Thrill is Gone’, her deep bass growl of a voice holds you in its warmth. She has a ‘Goosebumps sing the Blues’ voice and Louis Armstrong appeared in my mind’s eye and ears as if her deep voice was his. Shirley Bassey appeared as well. She has her own voice and is true to herself; she has the same blessing of the generals aforementioned.
Excellent diction, engages with audience . . . she shines with the sun who is here to listen to and shine on her as she sings with passion and her smiling face and soul.
I walk right up to the front of the stage.
Make connection, get on the page.
She finishes with a beautiful, original ‘There’s Something About You’.
Randy Henry, drummer, played real tight snare sound with kettledrum. Jumping smiley beans style. At 8 p.m. Claudia and band play in the tent. It is packed with an audience that doesn’t need to be asked to participate as she belts out ‘Don’t You Worry About a Thing’.
She says the next song is hers but Toffee, her dynamic lead guitarist, wants to sing it and his mesmerizing unique blues soul voice grabs me as he sings ‘Here I am, Come Take me’. Boy George comes to mind. I close my eyes and I know why as his voice washes over me.
Simon Cunliffe-Lister joins the band with the song ‘Brown Skin’ with his screaming sax solo fusing with Randy jumping up and down with his sticks tapping anywhere in or around him. KC Aurelian merges bass with drum so we have nightclub sound. Then, Toffee melts his reggae blues funk energy soul to sing through his guitar.
Simply put, this band was a hit in the festival. I could have listened to them all day. What else can I say? Encore, encore, encore!
Claudia Edward and the Naked Chords band.